Brazil bank employees to go on strike after shunning pay rise plan

Union seeks 5.4 per cent inflation-adjusted wage increase

SAO PAULO (Reuters) — Bank workers in Brazil voted to go to strike after a pay rise counter-proposal made by commercial banks fell short of their demands, the country's largest bank union said late on Thursday.

In a statement, the Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores do Ramo Financeiro said a proposal made by Fenaban, a group representing banks, offering a 0.61 per cent inflation-adjusted increase was insufficient. As a result, a nationwide strike will begin on Sept. 30 and last indefinitely, the statement by the union confederation, known as Contraf-CUT, added.

The union sought a 5.4 per cent inflation-adjusted wage increase, the implementation of a 14th monthly wage and a rise in the value of food vouchers in a list of eight proposals that was submitted to banks last month. Unions from about 50 different regions encompassing the largest metropolitan areas in Brazil will join the strike, the statement said.

"Banks in Brazil continue to have the highest profitability ratios in the international financial system. But bankers give high value to executives and refuse to listen to our demands," said Carlos Cordeiro, president of Contraf-CUT and head of a national council of banking unions.

Over the past decade, the union has won an 18 percent inflation-adjusted increase for bank workers in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo, with banks extending the rise to all their staff across Brazil.

Last year, an impasse between banks and workers during wage discussions sparked minor work stoppages that failed to disrupt service.

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